Generic Name: dantrolene (DAN-troe-leen)
Brand Name: Dantrium
Dantrolene capsules may cause serious and sometimes fatal liver problems. This may occur at any time but has occurred most often between the 3rd and 12th month of treatment. The risk may be greater when dantrolene capsules are used in higher doses, even for a short period of time. It may also be greater in women, people older than 35 years old, and people who use other medicines at the same time. Liver function tests will be performed while you use dantrolene capsules to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments. Notify your doctor right away if you have symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness).
Dantrolene capsules are used for:
Treating spasms (spasticity) caused by nerve disorders (eg, stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis). It may be used prevent or reduce the risk of severe high body temperature in certain patients before surgery or anesthesia. It may be used after an episode of severe high body temperature to prevent it from occurring again. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Dantrolene capsules are a muscle relaxant. It works to treat spasms by blocking muscle contraction. It works for severe high body temperature by restoring a normal level of calcium in the muscles, which helps to prevent or reduce severe high body temperature.
Do NOT use dantrolene capsules if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in dantrolene capsules
- you have active liver disease (eg, hepatitis, cirrhosis)
- your spasticity is needed to maintain an upright posture or balance while walking, or to obtain or maintain increased function
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using dantrolene capsules:
Some medical conditions may interact with dantrolene capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have heart problems, lung or breathing problems (eg, obstructive pulmonary disease), or a history of liver problems
- if you are older than 35 years old
- if you are taking a calcium channel blocker (eg, verapamil). Certain patients should not use calcium channel blockers along with dantrolene capsules
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dantrolene capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Estrogen or medicines that may harm the liver (eg, acetaminophen, methotrexate, ketoconazole, isoniazid, certain medicines for HIV infection) because the risk of liver problems may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the liver
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dantrolene capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use dantrolene capsules:
Use dantrolene capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take dantrolene capsules with or without food.
- If you miss a dose of dantrolene capsules, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dantrolene capsules.
Important safety information:
- Dantrolene capsules may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or changes in vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use dantrolene capsules with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using dantrolene capsules; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take dantrolene capsules before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Dantrolene capsules may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to dantrolene capsules. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
- Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use dantrolene capsules. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use dantrolene capsules with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the risk of fatal liver problems.
- Use dantrolene capsules with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 5 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if dantrolene capsules can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using dantrolene capsules while you are pregnant. Dantrolene capsules are found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dantrolene capsules.
Possible side effects of dantrolene capsules:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; general body discomfort; tiredness; weakness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in the urine; bloody or black, tarry stools; chest pain; coffee ground-like vomit; confusion; depression; difficulty urinating; fainting; fast heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea or stomach pain; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; sudden, unexplained weight gain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness); unusual bruising or bleeding; vision changes; vomiting.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma, muscle weakness, severe or persistent diarrhea, sluggishness, vomiting.Proper storage of dantrolene capsules:
Store at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from light, heat, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Avoid temperatures over 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). Keep dantrolene capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about dantrolene capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Dantrolene capsules are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dantrolene capsules or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dantrolene capsules. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dantrolene capsules. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dantrolene capsules.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.